Should Your Animal Hospital Offer House Calls and In-Home Veterinary Services?

House Calls Dr Plotnick Manhattan Cat Specialists

Written By: Brad Reiss, Practice Manager, Manhattan Cat Specialists

Many veterinary hospitals do not offer house-calls or in-home veterinary services and wonder whether or not it is the right choice for their practice. Manhattan Cat Specialists, a CVP Partner Hospital, offers house calls. Owner, Arnold Plotnick, MS, DVM, ACVIM, a veterinarian & feline expert for over 30 years, believes there a number of reasons for offering house calls:

  • Some cats get so nervous on the trip to the vet that they urinate, defecate, or vomit (or all three!) in their carrier on the way to (or from) the office.
  • Some cats who are normally very well-behaved at home become very agitated and aggressive once they enter the veterinary office.
  • Some cats, with their sixth sense, know that a veterinary visit is imminent, and they hide under the bed or the couch, making their capture and transport to the office an ordeal for the client.
  • Many of clients have multiple cats, and bringing two, or three, or five (or seven…) cats to the office becomes a logistical nightmare.
  • As our feline population ages, clients are aging right along with them, and some elderly clients find it increasingly difficult to bring their cat to the office.
  • Many owners would like their terminally ill cats to be euthanized in their own home when the time comes.

For these reasons, Manhattan Cat Specialists decided to provide house calls and in-home veterinary services in order to meet the needs of their clients.

When a client makes an appointment for a house call, Dr. Plotnick and a veterinary technician visit the home with the necessary equipment and medical supplies in order to duplicate the type of visit the cat would receive at the hospital.  This includes a complete physical examination, blood and urine collection for lab analysis if necessary, vaccinations, microchipping, feline leukemia and FIV testing, blood typing, subcutaneous fluid administration, ear cleaning, claw trimming, blood pressure measurement, application of Soft Paws, and many other procedures.

And of course, when the time is appropriate, euthanasia can be performed in a gentle, compassionate manner at home. Manhattan Cats will also take care of the cremation arrangements.

It’s important to let clients know which home procedures cannot be performed in the home, for example, x-rays and surgery.  After the examination, if it is determined that a cat needs these or other advanced diagnostic procedures, or needs to be admitted to the hospital, transportation for the cat to the hospital will be arranged. Life threatening emergencies cannot wait, and should not be scheduled for house calls.  Cats who are having difficulty breathing, are having seizures, are unconscious, or are bleeding uncontrollably should be brought to the practice immediately, or to an emergency hospital if it is after hours.

To know whether offering house calls is right for your veterinary hospital, it’s a good idea to survey clients. Those with multiple or difficult pets may be the top clients to take advantage of this service. Especially if no other animal hospitals are doing house calls in the area, you may increase your client base as well as current pet visits.

To learn more about Manhattan Cat Specialists visit their website HERE.

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